What’s in the Middle of your Middle Name?

http://www.etsy.com/market/distressed_letter?ref=l2Many middle names arrive in the middle of confusion, compromise, and even confrontation.

Take my middle name.

Well, for the first 30 years of my life, you couldn’t have taken it, because I didn’t have any.

When I became sentient enough to realize that unlike my friends (Beverly Lynn Pooling, Julie Glory Wyckoff, Barbara Ann Bancroft) I had no three-word-title to deliver on the right hand side of my school papers.

Just plain

Pamela Wight.

When I was 6, I asked my parents what my middle name was. They did that “parent look” over my head, the look that said “don’t say anything,” and just replied, “You don’t have one.”

When I was 9 I asked my parents why I didn’t have a middle name. They did that parent look again, but this time I stomped my foot and demanded an answer.

My mom explained, “when you were born, your dad and I couldn’t agree on what your middle name should be.”

Dad added, with love in his eyes, “so we agreed to give you NO middle name.”

Boy, that made me mad. So glad the argument turned out well for them, I thought, but what about me? I explained these feelings to them, as only a 9-year-old can, something like, “BUT I WANT A MIDDLE NAME NOOOOOOWWWWW.” So they calmed me with compromise.

“Pammy,” my dad said earnestly, “when you’re old enough, you can decide your own middle name.”

Wow, that stopped my protest immediately. Really? My middle name could be anything?

My mom, seeing how much pleasure this idea gave me, said over my head and into my father’s ear, “let’s see what she wants it to be right now. Why wait?”

So they asked me what I’d choose for my middle name. I thought, and thought, and thought carefully for over a week.

Pamela Thankful

Pamela Thankful

middle name, alphabet, T, thankful

Then I came back to them and announced that my name was now Pamela Thankful Wight.

Uh oh. That parental look across my head occurred again. After much “discussion” (me crying and they pleading), we came to a compromise. When I turned 15, I could create a middle name for myself, no matter what it was, and that would be that.

Well, six years later, I approached my parents on my birthday and said, “Okay, I’m ready.”

They didn’t know what I was talking about! They had forgotten about my middle name.

I certainly had not.

I choose the perfect name. I heard it sung, over and over again, by the Beatles. The girl they sang about was beautiful and romantic and desired.

That would be me.

“My middle name,” I declared, “is Michelle.”

Pamela Michelle

Pamela Michelle

Well, you’d think I’d said, “Ungrateful,” or “Freaky,” or “Drugs & Alcohol,” because my parents hated the name “Michelle.”

“You only like it because of the Beatles. Wait a few more years, then decide,” my dad said.

“I will never NOT like the name Michelle. Pamela Michelle Wight. It’s perfect!” I argued over and over, but to no avail.

So for the next 15 years, I had no middle name. Not for all my college applications, nor employment applications, nor even on my first mortgage statement.

I was Pamela “Nameless” Wight.

Until I met my guy who became my forever mine.

And guess one of the first things he did, after he declared undying love for me?

He gave me a middle name.

middle name, alphabet, S

He began calling me Pamela S. Wight.

As soon as we began to co-exist (and then legally marry), he filled out our rental apps, taxes, insurance forms, school release forms for our kids, etc., etc. with his name and mine: Pamela S. Wight.

Only one slight problem.

To this day, he has still never told me what the “S” stands for.



54 thoughts on “What’s in the Middle of your Middle Name?

  1. That’s a great story! Maybe Pamela Shewantsamiddlename Wight? After I read this I hopped back over to my blog to look at what I had you down as on my ‘Books by Bloggers’ page, and I just have Pamela Wight, and then I noticed that one of your books has the ‘S’ and one not – Let me know if you want me to add the ‘S’ in on the heading. Kids without a middle name always feel left out during their school years (and beyond it seems!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, yes, see? I’m still conflicted, confused and confounded about that middle initial. I try to always use the S, but then sometimes I go back to thinking I don’t have a middle initial. My guy’s the one who pointed out that I don’t have the “S” in my second book, Twin Desires. Darn. Yes, I should be Pamela S. Wight. Keep reminding me, will you? 🙂


  2. I don’t have a middle name, and neither do my four siblings. It never bothered me because most of my friends didn’t either. I asked my mom about it once and she asked me, “Why would I want a name nobody used?” However, my son has a middle name. 🙂 I wonder what started it all? The British Royals?


    • A HA! Your reply is so telling, after nonchalantly declaring you and your siblings have no middle name, yet admitting that you gave one to your son. See? Somehow, something is missing without that middle initial. Good question, though. Where did that middle name thingy come from? I suppose we can blame the British. With all those kings and queens who had to be named after great great grandfathers, and then great grandmothers, and then grandfathers, their middle names are two pages long.


  3. Oh how funny! Guess what? My middle initial is “S”, too, and I have a middle name story to share, as well. Shhh, you can’t tell anyone, but my middle name is “Sue”. Sounds relatively innocuous, right? Until you realize that my married name is “Drue”. It just isn’t cool. That’s why I keep going back to signing the “S”. 🙂


    • Why am I not surprised that we share the same S in between our first and last name? Let’s you and I come up with a perfect S word. (You’re right, Kathy Sue Drue does NOT work.) Over the years I’ve pressured my guy to tell me what the S means. He swears it’s not for “Special,” or “Spectacular,” but, hmmm, what do you think?


  4. I still think you are lucky without one (thought “grateful” perfect.) Mine was Maude and I did not like it; so your Mom was correct – do whatever you want. It really was your dad’s fault!! I LOVE Pamela Mom


  5. Super. Sexy. Sassy! I don’t think I ever knew a person with no middle name! Growing up, mine was Roth, no not Ruth, Roth. That was for my Mom’s mom’s best friend, whose name was Agnes Roth (my Aunt Agnes has the same person to thank). Don’t know how many times I would repeat “Roth” and people would say “Ruth.” Though I do like Ruth…


    • Dear KRA. Ahhh, now I know what that R stands for. And if I’d been you when I was a kid, and a teen, and even older, I think I’d let everyone think it stood for Ruth (despite the nice sentiment of Roth)!


  6. Michelle would have been a nice choice. And you are correct, your choice could have been just about anything at age fifteen. S seems to work for you just fine.

    I know someone whose middle name is D. Just D. And I think that’s the way it has been since the beginning.


  7. What a wonderful story, and I am AMAZED that at such a young age you wanted the middle name Thankful, I think that’s fabulous! And the end is so incredibly romantic – but truly HOW have you managed to refrain from pestering your husband every minute of every day to find out what the S stands for? Maybe it doesn’t matter, he gave you one, and what a beautiful gift to give after so many years of being middlenameless. Such a beautiful story – thanks for sharing:-) Hugs, H xxxxx


    • Somehow, even at a young age, I knew how lucky I was. I was thankful every day – for the blue sky, the sun in the summer, the snow in the winter. Looking back now, it is surprising, but for many years I was sure my middle name was meant to be thankful.
      In my more mature years, I have learned that the more I pester, the less I get, so I’ve tried to just ‘allow’ the S that has been bestowed on me, and to be thankful. Hugs back to you!


    • As in “Pamela Sue Just Got Married,” huh? (Love that movie.) Yes, Pamela Sue works, but I’m holding out for a more unique S – I’m glad you didn’t say Sweet (n) Sour!!! SSS (for sweetsexysaucy) works for me!


  8. Such a good writer!  I have an “icky” middle name–until I realized it came from family genealogy.  Oh, well!  We can’t all be perfect!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Pamela “So Loved!” Wight! Mary


    • Wait! You didn’t share what your genealogically-induced middle name is! I’m thinking of old-fashioned names: Olive? Harriett? Gertrude???
      Happy Thanksgiving to you, my always-Monday-writing New England buddy.


    • I’ve been reading all these comments and then came upon yours. I too have one of those “icky” middle names, which I hated all my life, until I got into genealogy. I’ve always known that I was named for my father’s mother, whom he never knew. But why did they have to saddle me with her old-fashioned name?? After I’d struggled through generations of ancestors, trying to sort folks out, I discovered how wonderful it is to have a tie to earlier generations. And no, I’m not going to reveal it. Esther is uncommon enough. I don’t need to pair it with an even more uncommon middle name. Even on a blogpost, I try to preserve what little privacy there is left in this electronic age.


      • Okay, okay, I won’t insist that you share your ancestral middle name, but I admit I sure am intrigued! I’m sure it’s better than NO middle name, or a plain initial! I happen to love the name “Esther,” by the way. I actually know two others, and they are both lovely, amazing woman. (As I’m sure you are too!)


  9. Middle names are funny. So many of our generation had Marie, Susan, Linda, Ann…mine is Lynn. Carla is for my Mother’s maiden name, Carl. Lynn just because they liked it and it went well with Carla – I actually have a cousin a few months younger than me named Carlynne, but that’s a whole story in itself – and I always liked Lynn. But, when I married Bruce my “new” middle name became Bradley and Lynn has been gone for almost 42 yrs…I think your S should be ever changing! Whatever your mood of the day, that’s what the S can stand for til you want it to be something else!


    • I’m glad you didn’t totally lose your maiden name when you married – in my mind, you are always Carla Bradley. 🙂 (Sorry, Bruce).
      Yes, a roving middle S. Now there’s an intriguing idea. I think today I’m Pamela Sanguine Wight.


  10. I liked Thankful best! But I’ll turn Jerry’s S into Sun, since you’re a warm, bright light in my life. Well, I like rain, too, so I could go for Storm – Pamela Storm – good pen name for a romantic suspense novel that’s shady… I know, you’d never go there, but just sayin’…


  11. Such fun to decide – sexy, silly, scintillating, smiley, – something different whenever you feel like it.
    I am lucky enough to have two middle names – I have Ruth after Dad’s Mum and Victoria after Mum’s Mum – which is good.


  12. Getting caught up on past blogs…… when I read this one I HAD to comment! My middle name is Re’ My first name is KimberlEy..notice the extra E? My mother had to be different. Re’ (pronounced Ray) is my father’s first name. Not Re’ but Ray of course. I just turned 50 last Aug and to this day, my name is mispelled on a regular basis *sigh* but now I don’t care unless it is a legal document (mortgage papers, will, insurance) or my driver’s license. I NEVER put my middle name unless I HAVE to….because people have asked “What is Re’?” or they try to put it together with my last name. ugh…Thanks mom!
    Love your story and I think it is sweet that hubby never told you what “S” stands for. Maybe it changes too often? LOL! 🙂


    • Now that’s a tough one, Re’. Kinda romantic of your parents (putting a feminized version of your dad’s name in the middle of your name). But still. I agree, drop the R e and go with the first and last names.
      And yes, I’m afraid maybe my guy changes what my ‘S’ means, depending on how nice I am to him each day. (In my mind, I should then be middle named “Spectacular” often. 🙂


  13. Great story…I’ll bet you have tried over and over to guess what the “S” stands for. And my two cents is that Pamela Michelle actually is quite nice. But I would venture a guess that you were pretty happy with the way the story turned out! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I like the name Sarah. But for special meanings, I like “Serendipity,” “Sunshine,” and”Star.” Yet, in our family, my Mom used her maiden name once married as her middle name or middle initial. I use my maiden name on legal documents, bank and BMV. Often, in art or writing, I am Robin Elizabeth Oldrieve Cochran or “reocochran.” I always like REO Speedwagon band. 🙂


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  16. Pam, the sweetest of stories of how you came to your middle name … well, your middle initial!😀 It fits you perfectly! The options are endless …

    I’m baffled how your parents could not agree on a first name but not the second … although talking to friends and family this middle name seems to cause more discussion than the first name! I’m imagining a very determined you at six, fifteen trying to settle the matter once and for all!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you make a good point that I hadn’t thought of, Annika. How ’bout if my parents couldn’t agree on a FIRST name, much less a middle one? I guess I’d just go as … Wight. Simple. Elegant (?). But nowhere near as interesting as Pamela S? Wight. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Funnily enough, my husband and I hadn’t decided a name for our child before it was born. (I was convinced it was a boy although I hadn’t been told!) As soon as he was born I shouted out an exhalted ‘Sammy!’ Everyone look so surprised, including my mother and husband. The nurse said, so we’d agreed a name, then. My husband replied, no, but we have now! He knew there was no budging on that name!😀

        Liked by 1 person

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